You are herePreterism and Calvinism: The Historical Argument, Part 2

Preterism and Calvinism: The Historical Argument, Part 2

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/vaduva/planetpreterist.com/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 149.

By Virgil - Posted on 18 January 2005

In my first column contra Calvinism, I covered some of the philosophical arguments which compel me to reject Calvinism as a valid theological system. I will now cover Calvinism and some of its points from a historical perspective, and I will show how historical development of dogma in the early Church through the 1500s and during Reformation is responsible for creating Calvinism and how lack of Preterist influences contributed to serious errors in the development of doctrine.The pre-Augustinian times

While I don’t want to get into great details about the theology of certain Church Fathers, a key element in the development of Calvinism has to be pointed out. Until the time of Augustine, most Church scholars were happy with simply producing commentaries on the writings of Paul for example. As far as I am aware, there was very little argument concerning free-will and most, if not all Church Fathers did not have an understanding of predestination or did not teach predestination or even any form of it.

The abstract Latin noun praedestinatione was apparently created from the Greek verb proorizo, which has the meaning of “deciding or setting limits of something ahead of time.” Authors like Clement of Alexandria interpreted proorizo as depending on proginosko (fore-know), thus predestination was understood as “those whom God knew would believe, God decided beforehand to save.” In a more clear sense, the concept of predestination was not interpreted as a “divinely set fate or destiny” as it is being understood today, but as the Creator putting in place the rules of existence and salvation: here are the boundaries of the court, here are the rules, now you can play ball.

What is interesting is that many Greek Christians did not bring their Greek understanding of “fate” into their theology. We do not see much evidence of early believers teaching a fatalistic worldview of doom and death, such as the Greek understanding of human fate as being dispersed by Moira, the goddess of fate. This makes one realize that the Greek way of understanding fate as an “irresolvable future over which one has no control whatsoever” was not generally accepted and taught by early Christians and a different, non fatalistic understanding of fate and future was being circulated among early Christians. For example, Origen used the concept of free-will to argue against fatalism and Gnosticism in the third century saying “It is our own doing whether we live rightly or not, and that we are not compelled, either by those causes which come to us from without, or, as some think, by the presence of fate.

So what we see in early Christianity is a tendency of Christians to reject classical fatalism and the strongly established gentile notion and existence of “a powerful external force coercing and controlling all aspects of life and existence.” Instead we see strong evidence of the free-will concept being taught and popularized in the early Church.

Original Sin and the Pelagius Controversy

Without doubt, the discussion over predestination, and original sin was not resolved by early Church Fathers and their critics, or by Augustine and Reformation or by people in our current times, and just as today, the times of Augustine and Calvin were times when Christians did not hesitate to readily insult each other when proper words and logic failed to convince each other of what truth is.

Augustine was one of the very early proponents of the doctrine of original sin and he was also one of the first involved in the development of doctrine denying man’s free-will. In the early 400s, a monk named Pelagius of which we do not know very much, and whom Augustine called “a Scot stuffed with Scottish porridge suffering from a weak memory” created a commentary on Paul’s letters (Commentarii in epistolas S. Pauli – Commentaries on the letters of St. Paul) which caused quite a stir and created many problems for the Church. In his writings, Pelagius took the idea of free-will to a whole new level. Without getting into great details about his writings, Pelagius promoted several radically new concepts which were later condemned by the Church and became known as the “Pelagian heresy.”

Among the ideas Pelagius promoted were the six theses submitted by his friend Caelestius to the bishop of Carthage:

  • Even if Adam had not sinned, he would have died.
  • Adam's sin harmed only himself, not the human race.
  • Children just born are in the same state as Adam before his fall.
  • The whole human race neither dies through Adam's sin or death, nor rises again through the resurrection of Christ.
  • The Mosaic Law is as good a guide to heaven as the Gospel.
  • Even before the advent of Christ there were men who were without sin.

    Studying Pelagius is not the point of this article, and while we may not agree with all six theses, we want to make note of the early tendencies of Pelagius to properly interpret Adam’s relationship with God, the nature of Adam's death, and the implications of sin in Adam’s life. It is clear the Pelagius felt strongly that Adam was created to be a mortal human, that each person was responsible for his or her own sin, and that sin was not passed on to children through birth. Ironically, these six theses sound strangely similar to promulgations made by Preterists today; in fact, what we see is very early development of Preterist doctrine and theology. Many Preterists who subscribe to an AD 70 Second Coming of Christ do profess a spiritual death occurring in Genesis 3 at the Fall, but interestingly and contradictory also continue to see a parallel evil permeating all physical creation. The line between Pelagianism and Preterism gets even more blurry when many Preterists indeed confirm that Adam was created a mortal being and that Adam’s sin was not necessarily passed on to future generations until this day.

    By the time Augustine was forced to respond to Pelagius and got involved in this controversy in 412, the ideas proposed by Pelagius were gaining ground across Carthage and North Africa. In fact Augustine and other bishops were forced to deal with Pelagianism in a public matter before it got out of hand. In 412, Augustine put together two works (De spiritu et litera - The spirit and the Law, and De peccatorum meritis et remissione libri – The reward for sin and scriptural remission) in which he tries to make a case for the existence of original sin and the absolute requirement for infant baptism. Because Augustine saw evidence for original sin, his arguments revolved around the premise that sin permeates all creation, and that depravity is inherent to all mankind, thus being consistent with his need for the baptism of infants for example.

    Augustine framed his argument against Pelagius around the idea that although Adam was created perfectly good by God, Adam’s sin brought about such a huge change in mankind that all creation has become totally and absolutely incapable of doing anything good. In fact, Augustine was so extreme in his view of the depraved world that he actively condemned even the good deeds of non-Christians, teaching that the good deeds performed by non-believers were deeds done in the spirit of Satan . It appears while his extremist position helped put Pelagius in his place it turned many away from the substance of his message.

    The situation became such that a third position appeared in the form of Semi-Pelagianism proposed by Vitalis of Carthage in which a compromise between Augustine and Pelagius was presented. This position distanced itself from the extremes proposed by Pelagius and suggested that free-will is only the beginning of faith, and that justification before God can only be obtained through this faith. In opposition, Augustine believed that without the grace placed inside one’s heart, faith cannot blossom, and therefore free-will cannot be responsible for one’s faith.

    Semi-Pelagianism was synthesized in these points:

    1. In distinguishing between the beginning of faith (initium fidei) and the increase of faith (augmentum fidei), one may refer the former to the power of the free will, while the faith itself and its increase is absolutely dependent upon God;

    2. The gratuity of grace is to be maintained against Pelagius in so far as every strictly natural merit is excluded; this, however, does not prevent nature and its works from having a certain claim to grace

    3. As regards final perseverance in particular, it must not be regarded as a special gift of grace, since the justified man may of his own strength persevere to the end

    4. The granting or withholding of baptismal grace in the case of children depends on the Divine prescience of their future conditioned merits or misdeeds.

    Augustine dedicated the rest of his life to fighting Pelagianism, but he was unsuccessful in exterminating it. The debate over these issues continued for another one hundred years or more until Semi-Pelagianism itself was declared a heresy by the Council in Orange in 529.

    Augustine was the first to systematically develop and articulate the doctrine of predestination, and virtually all subsequent discussions on the topic of predestination revolved around the Augustinian foundation. To sum-up Augustine’s approach, “he stated that God created humans with the free will to choose between good and evil. By choosing evil they lost their free will fully to do God’s will, and thereafter needed God’s grace to be saved and to live righteously.” (Encyclopedia of Religions, MacMillan; 2nd edition)

    In his “On the Predestination of Saints” Augustine declared that “God’s gift of grace is prepared for by God’s prior decision from eternity to predestine some to salvation.” So Augustine in fact claimed that grace is an effect of predestination, not its cause. He even took it one step further by claiming that “God not only in his mercy predestines some to salvation, but in his justice predestines the rest to damnation or reprobation.” His views were maintained by the Church until the Council of Orange gave them the status of orthodoxy, thus making Pelagianism an unacceptable choice. Later on, the Council of Quiercy in 853 declared Augustine’s “double predestination” as unacceptable and declared that “while God surely preelects some to salvation, he merely leaves the remainder to humanity in their freely chosen sin with its predestined consequences of eternal punishment.”

    Take two: The Reformation

    By the time the Reformation arrived, no major developments took place on the topic of free-will and predestination, but because of Luther’s adoption of predestination, Erasmus wrote his own On the Freedom of the Will in 1524. To this, Luther responded with On the Bondage of the Will, in which he concluded that there isn’t “any possibility of cooperation between God and human will.” Later on, The Lutheran Formula of Concord (1576) adopted Augustine’s basic position on predestination, but interestingly joined predestination and election into a single concept: “The predestination or eternal election of God extends only to the good and beloved children of God, and this the cause of their salvation.” This statement on predestination is obviously overcautious, and that is because of Calvin’s earlier work on the topic.

    By 1559, Calvin redeveloped Luther’s view of predestination into what Augustine came up with towards the end of his life: double-predestination. In Institutes Calvin wrote: “By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every person. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation.

    As I already showed here, there was nothing new in Calvin’s view of predestination, and the problem with it was not necessarily its substance, but its cultural and historical context which I believe predisposed Calvin to such theology. Clearly a futurist (eschatologically speaking), Calvin was a theocrat and saw nothing good in the world and people around him, and much, if not ALL of his theology grew out of his futurism and the method in which he framed the world around him. He tried and was successful in creating a strong theocratic government in Geneva in his efforts to fight the corrupt system of what he saw as an evil, sin-filled world. For example, because of his strong beliefs regarding education, Geneva became a place where parents were forced to send their children away to be educated in Calvin’s schools, where adulterous women were killed by drowning, and where the government actively tried to squash out sin by the means of law.

    In Book 2 of Institutes, Calvin wrote: “...our nature is not only destitute of all good, but is so fertile in all evils that it cannot remain inactive. Those who have called it concupiscence have used an expression not improper, if it were only added, which is far from being conceded by most persons, that everything in man, the understanding and will, the soul and body, is polluted and engrossed by this concupiscence; or, to express it more briefly, that man is of himself nothing else but concupiscence.” (Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 1)

    Calvin had such a negative view of the world, that in Institutes, he dedicates an entire chapter to his idea of how Adam’s fall negatively affected all subsequent generations for eternity. In Institutes Calvin writes: “After the heavenly image in man was effaced, he not only was himself punished by a withdrawal of the ornaments in which he had been arrayed--viz. wisdom, virtue, justice, truth, and holiness, and by the substitution in their place of those dire pests, blindness, impotence, vanity, impurity, and unrighteousness, but he involved his posterity also, and plunged them in the same wretchedness. This is the hereditary corruption to which early Christian writers gave the name of Original Sin, meaning by the term the depravation of a nature formerly good and pure.” (Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 5)

    Calvin continues: “This timidity, however, could not prevent the rise of a Pelagius with his profane fiction--that Adam sinned only to his own hurt, but did no hurt to his posterity. Satan, by thus craftily hiding the disease, tried to render it incurable. But when it was clearly proved from Scripture that the sin of the first man passed to all his posterity, recourse was had to the cavil, that it passed by imitation, and not by propagation. The orthodoxy, therefore, and more especially Augustine, labored to show, that we are not corrupted by acquired wickedness, but bring an innate corruption from the very womb. It was the greatest impudence to deny this.” (Institutes, Book2, Chapter 1, Section 5)

    Calvin was heavily sold on Augustine's theology of original sin, predestination and total depravity. It is evident to anyone that Calvin was simply resurrecting an old argument: Augustine vs. Pelagius, and that his view of an utterly corrupt world stems from his Augustinian view of original sin: “We thus see that the impurity of parents is transmitted to their children, so that all, without exception, are originally depraved.” (Institutes, Book 2, Chapter 1, Section 6) And just as it happened during Augustine’s times, there was no Preterist to counterbalance his views of original sin and the depraved world.

    Calvin also sees Paul as teaching his view of original sin: “And the Apostle most distinctly testifies, that "death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned," (Rom. 5:12); that is, are involved in original sin, and polluted by its stain. Hence, even infants bringing their condemnation with them from their mother's womb suffer not for another's, but for their own defect. For although they have not yet produced the fruits of their own unrighteousness, they have the seed implanted in them. Nay, their whole nature is, as it were, a seed-bed of sin, and therefore cannot but be odious and abominable to God.

    Now folks, I cannot guess another’s feelings, but just about now, as a Preterist reading these statements, I might very well throw my hands up in the air, smash my computer to pieces and walk away from this ridiculous argument which we are involved in. But I will do no such thing. Instead, let me try to synthesize what many Preterists believe today:

    1. Adam would have physically died even if he had not sinned.

    2. Adam’s sin only harmed himself, not the entire human race.

    3. Since sin causes death, and since Children do not sin, Children are born the same as Adam before his fall.

    4. The Parousia of Christ restored the world to a pre-Adamic state.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone?

    Conclusion

    To any honest observer and reader, a historical analysis of predestination and Calvinism brings to light many questions which have never been answered to this day, yet millions of Christians continue to subscribe to Calvinism. Even many Preterists continue to buy into Calvin’s views of a totally corrupt world. And how could anyone answer these questions if the more important issue of the Parousia of Christ has never been resolved until Preterism stepped up to the plate and proclaimed that “everything has been made new” and that Adam’s death, and therefore its consequences have been dealt with finally and completely in A.D. 70 at the fall of the Jewish Temple?

    Indeed, Calvin was a powerful name in the development of doctrine and dogma and much of his theology has merits and value. But let us all, as Preterists look at the whole structure of Calvinism, which unequivocally appears to be built on the foundation of “original sin and total depravity.” If any other argument would be considered inadequate if its premise is wrong, why then would Calvinism be exempt from severe criticism, and why should we then not put the argument over Calvinism into its proper place: Augustine and Pelagius? And should we do so, how can we then allow Calvin to build systematic theology that affects much theology today without questioning its roots and motivations? Surely you would agree with me that a house with a cracked foundation needs to be torn down and rebuilt!

    Now, the efficacy of Preterism is its power to offer answers to futurism’s assertions concerning a depraved world and in doing so we do not apologize and shy away from the obvious truth of the matter. Preterists fearlessly engage futurists frequently when debating these matters. We all agree that futurism, because of its misunderstanding of “the death” and its nature, presents us with a defeatist and fatalistic picture of the world.

    You will surely ask me, “How can you dismiss all Calvin’s arguments in their entirety?” My friends, I am not doing such a thing. But on the same token, how can you as Preterists ignore all the common sense you employed when you accepted Preterism as truth and continue to submit to a doctrine built solely on the misconceptions of futurism? Can a futurist come to some valid theological conclusions, as Calvin did? Yes, of course. Can a futurist accurately articulate God’s relationship to the world, the nature of death and salvation? Absolutely not!

    Let us all in my next installment discuss the theological and scriptural issues of Calvinism and see how as Preterists we already have in our possession much more gold than we thought Calvinism could ever offer us.

    Continue to Part 3 of this article

  • demario's picture

    The biggest names in futurism (dispensationalism) are not Calvinists. Tim LaHaye, Dave Hunt, and Norm Geisler would agree with everything Virgil has written thus far. Preterism is not the key to this argument.

    coderguy's picture

    Virtually all the founders and advocates of not just futurism, but of dispensationalism were of the Calvinist vein. Darby, Scofield, Chafer, Barnhouse, Gaebelein, Pentecost, Walvoord, Ryrie, etc., and even Hal Lindsey. LaHaye and Hunt are an exception to the rule historically. While Geisler is a dispensationalist, he is not really know for that.

    On the other hand, almost all of the full preterists come from an Arminian orientation.

    DrDre's picture

    I would disagree w/the particular people you named. These guys are not Reformed in soteriology. All one would have to do is check the notes in the great CI's bible. Staunch Calvinistics really didn't make it big like these guys did...

    Dr. Dre

    coderguy's picture

    DrDre:
    You are wrong. Darby was a 5-point Calvinist. He won a Gold Medal from the Elders of Geneva for having saved the Reformed Faith from Arminianism in 1859. Scofield may be the weakest link on that list, but nevertheless, he was an ordained Presbyterian minister along with Chafer, Pentecost, Barnhouse and Walvoord. The revival of futurism and ultimately dispensationalism was a movement within the Reformed tradition. Many Reformed don't like that fact, but it is still true. Futurism certainly did not develop within the Weslian or Arminian tradition. I could list dozens more of the leaders of dispensationalism who have a Reformed and Calvinist perspective. If it did not develop within the Reformed tradition, then tell me what tradition did it develop in?

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Gary, it is the PRETERIST HERMENEUTIC that is the key to finding the balanced, accurate Scriptural perspective on salvation/regeneration and mankind's true relationship to God, as well as God's perspective on man's inner nature and spiritual state.

    Preterism, per se (as an eschatological perspective), is a big "piece of the puzzle". But it is the INTERPRETIVE APPROACH to the Word of God characteristic of Preterism that is the key.

    JM

    SciotaMicks's picture

    With all do respect, names are just....names.

    Of course there are futurists out there who do not subscribe to Calvinism- I used to be one of them. However; I could never truly give a knock-em-down rebuttal towards my Calvinistic brothers.

    The implications of Preterism is much farther reaching than most of us even realize. When one retains the Preterist paradigm when studying Harmartology, Soteriology and even Paterology new understandings are brought to light. The goal should be to constantly reach for God's truths in theological doctrine, not do what is the most popular among men.

    Virgil's picture

    Yes Gary, but this does get us closer to understanding where Calvinism comes from and how it being founded on "original sin" and "total depravity" is also its undoing.

    demario's picture

    That's not what you claim in your argument. You maintain that Calvinism is linked to futurism, but the biggest named futurists are not Calvinists. You are falling a line of argument that is faulty from the start.

    Get off the historical argument and get to Scripture. Your historical analysis is way too simplistic.

    Virgil's picture

    That's not what you claim in your argument. You maintain that Calvinism is linked to futurism, but the biggest named futurists are not Calvinists

    Gary,

    I am not speaking about today's futurism - today's theology has been so bastardized by everyone involved that being a futurist or a preterist almost makes no difference, and note that I am not denying that ALL Calvin's theology was wrong.

    It is evident that the Calvin vs. Arminius argument is actually the Augustine vs. Pelagius argument all over again. They were all futurists...and they all got it wrong.

    Also note that Calvinist Preterists are avoiding the last two questions which I am pointing out again:

    Can a futurist come to some valid theological conclusions, as Calvin did? Yes, of course. Can a futurist accurately articulate God’s relationship to the world, the nature of death and salvation? Absolutely not!

    Do you agree?

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    It is evident that the Calvin vs. Arminius argument is actually the Augustine vs. Pelagius argument all over again. They were all futurists...and they all got it wrong.

    AMEN, Virgil. BOTH "camps" were erroneous to some degree in their treatment of the Scriptural doctrines of grace/salvation. Futurists are NOT capable of accurately determining God's relationship to man, including the true nature of death and salvation. Futurism distorts the true intent of God in His written revelation to man, yielding a twisted, warped understanding of His Will and Being - particularly in these areas.

    Virgil's picture

    They were both wrong, however I do lean towards Arminianism much more than I lean towards Calvinism. The bottom line is that you can't trust anything that comes from a futurist...it has to be re-analyzed and reconsidered from a preterist perspective

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    I lean toward the Arminian view too. Rather heavily, in fact. But there are one or two items in his position with which I disagree.

    Indeed, you cannot trust futurist ideas and doctrines. They analyze the Scriptures on the basis of faulty assumptions and hermeneutics. It is readily apparent that this is the case, when examining their Scriptural support.

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    Excellent article, Virgil! It's interesting how you tie Pelagianism in with Preterism here. I hadn't really given that relationship serious consideration until now (believe it or not).

    I'll have to ponder these things further. In some ways, I see a basis for taking this view on "original sin", and in other respects, I still have a few questions and texts to review further.

    Thanks for this well-researched treatment of the subject! Our articles dovetail nicely, and coincided amazingly well, inadvertently!

    John McPherson

    Jer2329's picture

    Hi Virgil, :)

    I notice that you suggest in this article (as in your first article) that since TULIP is
    "negative," it is therefore highly suspect and probably wrong. I'm curious why you seem to believe that "negative" doctrines should be avoided or viewed with skepticism.

    > 1. Adam would have physically died even if he
    > had not sinned.

    I'm a five-pointer and I tend toward that belief. I don't see how that belief conflicts with TULIP. It only conflicts with futurism.

    There is no necessary connection between futurism and Calvinism. Belief in a totally depraved pack of "dogs" outside the City of God does not lead to a belief in the destruction of the world. It leads to a belief in the totally depraved nations being healed by the Light of the ever-increasing, world-conquering City (the Church).

    > 2. Adam’s sin only harmed himself, not the
    > entire human race.

    A blatant contradiction of Rom. 5 & I Cor. 15. I don't think anyone who takes the Bible seriously can hold to that belief, unless they cut those passages (and others) out of the Bible.

    > 3. Since sin causes death, and since Children
    > do not sin, Children are born he same as Adam
    > before his fall.

    There are degrees of Death in the Scriptures. Paul said that he "died" when the commandment against coveting came to him. That does not mean that Paul had eternal life before the commandment against coveting came to him.

    According to Paul, before we believe the Gospel (i.e., while we are outside the City of God), we are "by NATURE" God's enemies (i.e., by nature "dogs").

    Our behavior (sinning) does not produce our "nature" (sinful). Our "nature" (sinful) produces our behavior (sinning).

    > 4. The Parousia of Christ restored the world to
    > a pre-Adamic state.

    I agree, depending on how we define the word "world." That belief does not conflict with TULIP.

    Dave :)
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    There is no necessary connection between futurism and Calvinism. Belief in a totally depraved pack of "dogs" outside the City of God does not lead to a belief in the destruction of the world. It leads to a belief in the totally depraved nations being healed by the Light of the ever-increasing, world-conquering City (the Church).

    And Dave, what happens when the world is 100% conquered. Will everyone be "the elect?" Don't you see that your position on the elect is in dissonance with Daniel's view of the Kingdom and John's view of the Kingdom taking over the entire world? The "ellect" implies "picked out". How can anyone be picked out if everyone in the future will be "conquered?"

    A blatant contradiction of Rom. 5 & I Cor. 15.

    I want you to explain to me how it is a blatant contradiction of these passages. Just saying so, doesn't make it so.

    There are degrees of Death in the Scriptures. Paul said that he "died" when the commandment against coveting came to him.

    Where did Paul say this?

    I agree, depending on how we define the word "world." That belief does not conflict with TULIP.

    Sure it conflicts...there is no longer any depravity to complain about, so how can there be a T in TULIP? What kind of thinking is that?

    Now if you want to REDEFINE what depravity is then that's fine...do so, but don't call it what Calvin called it and don't call your system Calvinism.

    Jer2329's picture

    Hi Virgil, :)

    [Dave]
    > > There is no necessary connection between
    > > futurism and Calvinism. Belief in a totally
    > > depraved pack of "dogs" outside the City of
    > > God does not lead to a belief in the
    > > destruction of the world. It leads to a
    > > belief in the totally depraved nations being
    > > healed by the Light of the ever-increasing,
    > > world-conquering City (the Church).

    [Virgil]
    > And Dave, what happens when the world is 100%
    > conquered. Will everyone be "the elect?"

    I didn't mean to imply that a time will come when all babies will be born saved. That's the only way that 100% of the people will be saved 100% of the time.

    When I said the kingdom is "ever-increasing" I meant that there will always be people from all nations flowing into it.

    > Don't you see that your position on the elect
    > is in dissonance with Daniel's view of the
    > Kingdom and John's view of the Kingdom taking
    > over the entire world?

    The Gospel covered the world in A.D. 30-70. Paul said the Gospel was preached to every creature under heaven. Therefore, the Church inherited the world in A.D. 70 when it became the new City of worship for all nations.

    [Virgil]
    > > > Adam’s sin only harmed himself, not the
    > > > entire human race.

    [Dave]
    > > A blatant contradiction of Rom. 5 & I Cor. 15.

    [Virgil]
    > I want you to explain to me how it is a blatant
    > contradiction of these passages. Just saying
    > so, doesn't make it so.

    "...Through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead..." (Rom. 5:15)

    "...The judgment was through one [Adam] to condemnation..." (Rom. 5:16)

    "By one man's offence [Adam] Death reigned through one." (Rom. 5:17)

    "...Through the offence of one [Adam], judgment came upon all men to condemnation." (Rom. 5:18)

    "Through one man's [Adam's] disobedience many were made sinners." (Rom. 5:19)

    "Through man [Adam] came death" (I Cor. 15:21)

    "In Adam all die" (I Cor. 15:22)

    If we believe Scripture, there is no question that Adam's sin harmed "many" / "all men" / "all."

    [Dave]
    > > There are degrees of Death in the Scriptures.
    > > Paul said that he "died" when the commandment
    > > against coveting came to him.

    [Virgil]
    > Where did Paul say this?

    Rom. 7:7-9

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    didn't mean to imply that a time will come when all babies will be born saved.

    I know you didn't mean that. You said "ever increasing world-conquering City". Will the world ever be fully conquered or not?

    The Gospel covered the world in A.D. 30-70. Paul said the Gospel was preached to every creature under heaven. Therefore, the Church inherited the world in A.D. 70 when it became the new City of worship for all nations.

    That doesn't even begin to address my point, which again was: the Kingdom of God is presented by both Daniel and John as overcoming ALL the world. This has nothing to do with the Church...and you obviously believe that there is a "consquering" process taking place right now, which indicates that at some point in time in the future, either God will lose, or God will win. When God will win (assuming you think He will), will EVERY human living in this universe be "elect?"

    Now, concerning the verses you quoted out of Romans, every single verse was quoted out of its context. Just like futurists are doing, you grab one single sentence out of a passage or context and you make it mean something when in fact it means the exact opposite. Instead of addressing these verses now, I will deal with them in my next column

    At last, your reference to Romans 7 falls in the same category as the passages before them. You read what you find convenient to your theology. Let's dissect this passage and carefully look at it:

    1. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”

    2. For apart from law, sin is dead

    3. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

    Dave, I want to ask you a simple question. Paul was born a Jew from Jewish parents, yet he says there was a time in his life when he was alive. Can you tell me WHEN Paul was alive and WHEN Paul was NOT under the Law?

    Jer2329's picture

    Hi Virgil, :)

    [Dave]
    > > > > Belief in a totally depraved pack of
    > > > > "dogs" outside the City of God ...leads
    > > > > to a belief in the totally depraved
    > > > > nations being healed by the Light of the
    > > > > ever-increasing, world-conquering City
    > > > > (the Church).

    [Virgil]
    > > > And Dave, what happens when the world is
    > > > 100% conquered. Will everyone be "the
    > > > elect?"

    [Dave]
    > > I didn't mean to imply that a time will come
    > > when all babies will be born saved. That's
    > > the only way that 100% of the people will be
    > > saved 100% of the time.

    [Virgil]
    > I know you didn't mean that. You said "ever
    > increasing world-conquering City". Will the
    > world ever be fully conquered or not?

    I'm sorry for the confusion Virgil. By the terms "ever increasing" and "world conquering" I didn't mean to imply that the Church has not yet fully inherited the world or that it has not yet fully taken its dominion over the world.

    I meant that there will always be people from all nations flowing into the City (That defines
    "increase.") because the City forever exercises its dominion over the wicked in every generation though the Gospel (That is what I meant by "conquering.").

    The kingdom-increasing, world-conquering (or nation-healing) work of the Church is not a means to a goal. It is the fully realized goal and purpose of the Kingdom (as such passages as Isa. 9:7 and Rev. 22:2 reveal).

    [Virgil]
    > > > Don't you see that your position on the
    > > > elect is in dissonance with Daniel's view
    > > > of the Kingdom and John's view of the
    > > > Kingdom taking over the entire world?

    [Dave]
    > > The Gospel covered the world in A.D. 30-70.
    > > Paul said the Gospel was preached to every
    > > creature under heaven. Therefore, the Church
    > > inherited the world in A.D. 70 when it became
    > > the new City of worship for all nations.

    [Virgil]
    > That doesn't even begin to address my point,
    > which again was: the Kingdom of God is presented
    > by both Daniel and John as overcoming ALL the
    > world. This has nothing to do with the
    > Church...

    You seem to be arguing under the premise that "the world" in the Bible means "every individual on the planet." I'm not sure where you get that idea.

    You also seem to be saying that, "the Kingdom of God ...overcoming all the world ...has nothing to do with the Church." ???

    > 1. For I would not have known what coveting
    > really was if the law had not said, “Do not
    > covet.”
    >
    > 2. For apart from law, sin is dead
    >
    > 3. Once I was alive apart from law; but when
    > the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I
    > died.
    >
    > Dave, I want to ask you a simple question. Paul
    > was born a Jew from Jewish parents, yet he says
    > there was a time in his life when he was alive.
    > Can you tell me WHEN Paul was alive and WHEN
    > Paul was NOT under the Law?

    Paul was always "under the law." He was born "under the law" as Christ was born "under the law." Paul did not say that there was a time when he was not "under the law."

    Paul said that there was a time when "the commandment" ("Thou shalt not covet.") came to him. When that commandment came to Paul, sin was "revived" in Paul, and he "died."

    Paul was speaking of the perpetually-killing power of sin through God's commandments. Paul was not suggesting that he had eternal life before he heard the commandment against coveting.

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Dave,

    You are dancing my friend. Paul was not always under the law. He clearly says in Romans 7:7 that was was "once alive APART from the law." And when the commandment came "sin sprang to life and he died."

    Sin was not "revived" - you are using a word that is not there - sin came to life...and he died. You are reading into the passage something that is not there. Sin brings death, absence of sin brings life...it's very simple. Your theology leads you to assume that sin is always there when Paul teaches the exact opposite, that he was once alive, then SOMETHING happened and he died

    Again, let me ask you the question which didn't get an answer:

    At what point in time was Paul alive apart from the Law?

    Jer2329's picture

    [Virgil]
    > ...Paul was not always under the law. He
    > clearly says in Romans 7:7 that was was "once
    > alive APART from the law." And when the
    > commandment came "sin sprang to life and he
    > died."
    >
    > Sin was not "revived" - you are using a word
    > that is not there - sin came to life...and he
    > died. You are reading into the passage
    > something that is not there. Sin brings death,
    > absence of sin brings life...it's very simple.
    > Your theology leads you to assume that sin is
    > always there when Paul teaches the exact
    > opposite, that he was once alive, then
    > SOMETHING happened and he died

    Here is a literal translation of the verse:

    "But I was alive apart from law once; but having come the commandment, sin revived, but I died" (Rom. 7:9).

    Note that there is no definite article modifying "law." Paul was not saying, "There was a time when I was not under the old covenant ("the Law"). Compare Gal. 4:4.

    Before Paul was confronted with the commandment not to covet, "Sin" ("No good thing") already dwelled in him. "Evil" was already with him (Rom. 7:7,11,17,18,20,22). That was why the commandment killed Paul.

    Before the commandment came, the Sin that already indwelt Paul was "dead" insofar as it had not yet become "excessively sinful" through the commandment (Rom. 7:13). It was to that extent that Sin-indwelt Paul was
    "alive" apart from the commandment.

    The Greek word for "revived" means to "come to life again." Here are all five instances of the word in the NT: Lk. 15:24,32; Rom. 7:9; 14:9; Rev. 20:5.

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Dave,

    At what point in his life was Paul alive apart from the law?

    Jer2329's picture

    Hi Virgil, :)

    > At what point in his life was Paul alive apart
    > from the law?

    There was not one "point" in Paul's life in which he was "alive apart from law" and then became "dead in sin." Whenever a man without the indwelling Spirit of God is without knowledge of a divine commandment, that man is "alive" in relation to that commandment. And he is "alive" only insofar as the "Sin" / "Evil" / "No Good Thing" that already indwells him has not yet become "exceedingly sinful" ("revived") through the knowledge of that particular commandment (Rom. 7:13).

    The Greek word for "once" in Rom. 7:9 does not mean, "at one definite point in time." It means, "in time(s) past," "sometime(s)."

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Dave - I know Greek too and this instance is not one in which we should invoke it. :)

    There isn't any discernable difference between "once" and the connotation "at some point in time, sometime in the past." The Greek word makes very little difference here and Paul certainly is trying to communicate that at some time in his past, he was alive without the Law...and it is the Jewish Law he is talking about, not just the the "do not covet" commandment...look at the context of the passage. He was speaking to them who knew ha nomou (the law), who were being discharged from the ha nomou (the law) and he is using a definite article throughout the chapter.

    You don't seem to be able to look at this passage from a neutral perspective. Paul is not teaching that sin is somehow "sleeping" inside him...he is actually teaching that sin was dead without the Jewish Law. It's really quite simple: No Law = No Sin. Law Comes = Man Dies.

    Regardless, you are ignoring the fact that Paul was alive..he says that, and you cannot tell me WHEN he was alive because you cannot admit the fact that children do not have sin. Paul's childhood was the only possible time in his past when he was apart from the Law, i.e. apart from the understanding of the commandment. The passage simply teaches that when Paul was a child and when he lacked the understanding of the Law, he was alive. Your Calvinism prevents you from accepting this premise because you believe that children are born with sin, therefore you are forced to make the passage mean something different, that fits your theology.

    I used to be a calvinist, I used to understand this passage the way you do. You should step back and reconsider...it would benefit you..I assure you of that :)

    Jer2329's picture

    Hi Virgil, :)

    [Virgil]
    > There isn't any discernable difference between
    > "once" and the connotation "at some point in
    > time, sometime in the past." The Greek word
    > makes very little difference here.....

    The English word "once" can be understood to mean "at one definite pinpoint in time." But the Greek does not allow for that understanding of the word in Rom. 7:9. The Greek is indefinite ("in time(s) past," sometime(s)"). Paul therefore was not talking about a one-time event in his life in which Sin suddenly came into existence out of nothing and caused him to lose eternal life. Paul was talking about one of many moments in which the Sin that already dwelled within him was fanned to flames through a commandment.

    Sin dwells in man before man has a conscience of Sin (Rom. 17,18,20,23). It is there ready to take ocassion by a commandment (Rom. 7:8,11), ready to produce Sin (Rom. 7:8), ready to revive Sin (Rom. 7:9), ready to become "excessively sinful" (Rom. 7:13) and ready to be revealed for the Sin that it is (Rom. 7:13).

    [Virgil]
    > .....and it is the Jewish Law he is talking
    > about, not just the the "do not covet"
    > commandment ...look at the context of the
    > passage......

    The idea that Jewish children were "not under the Law" until after they understood a commandment has no biblical support beyond an interpretation of the phrase "apart from law" in Rom. 7:9. The idea also contradicts Gal. 4:4.

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Dave,

    Yes, pote is an indefinite adverb, yes it communicates an indefinite time. That means NOTHING in regards to what I am arguing. I don't care if the time is specifically defined or not..that's not my concern. My concern is that some time in the past (defined or undefined), Paul was alive, apart from the Law. He is using 'de' to contrast the time frame of pote with another time, when the commandment came and sin became alive. The arrival of the commandment brought life to sin.

    This is a classic use of pote by Paul to contrast two entirely different situations. He uses the exact same contrast in Ephesians 2 where he says:

    "..remember pote (ONCE, at some time in the past) you were gentiles..that at that time you were koris (without, apart from) Christ...nuni de (but NOW) in Christ Jesus...you have been made near."

    now compare this with Romans 7

    "I was pote (ONCE, at some time in the past) alive koris (without, apart from) The Law...but when the commandment came, I died."

    Really..it's pretty easy: in the past things were in situation A - later on, something happened, and things were in situation B. Once gentiles were Gentiles - now they are not..they are near to Christ. Once Paul was alive, now he is not.

    Romans 7:9 is true to its context established by Paul in verse 7 where he says "but sin I did not know if not through the law." If it wasn't for the Law, he would have not know what sin was. The Law defined "do not covet" as sin. When he came to understand what the Law said about coveting, the sin of coveting came to life, and he died.

    I don't have time to continue this kind of argument...you are missing the entire point of what Paul is saying. Either I am doing a really bad job at explaining myself, or you can't consider the text and the context for what it really says.

    Jer2329's picture

    I'm sorry Virgil, :)

    In my quest for brevity, I have taken a wrong argumentative turn and have confused indefinite time with indefinite number. Please forgive my haste and carelessness. With your indulgence, I will try again. :)

    I agree that "pote" often or usually refers to an event that takes place only "once" in the "indefinite" past. But that is not its only usage. The context of Rom. 7:9 shows us that "pote," in this case, does not refer to a "one-time event" that started "once" and ended "once," but refers to one of a number of events (Compare II Peter 1:21; cf. I Cor. 9:7; Eph. 5:29; Heb. 1:5; 2:1; I Peter 3:5; II Peter 1:10):

    As we have already established (but never discuss), Sin already dwelled in Paul before the commandment came to him (Rom. 17,18,20,23). Sin already dwelled in Paul in order to bring Sin to life again (i.e., to revive it) (Rom. 7:9). Sin already dwelled in Paul in order to re-produce itself (Rom. 7:8). Sin already dwelled in Paul in order to be revealed for the Sin that it already was (Rom. 7:13). Sin already dwelled in Paul in order to become "excessively" sinful (Rom. 7:13).

    These contextual facts preclude the idea that Paul "once" had eternal life but then lost it when Sin popped into existence out of thin air. "Alive" in Rom. 7:9 therefore cannot mean "in possession of eternal life." And "once" in Rom. 7:9 therefore cannot refer to the one-time event of losing eternal life.

    It follows then from these inferences and from the context that whenever (indefinite frequency) Saul was confronted with a commandment, Sin came to life again. It revived. It reproduced, and he "died."

    (This is why the English "once" in Rom. 7:9 can be misleading. It can suggest an absolute singularity. Jay P. Green translated it "then.")

    It may be "pretty easy" and "quite simple" to say that Paul "once" had eternal life and lost it one day, but the context will not allow for that explanation.

    Dave :)
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Was Paul ever "alive" before he wrote Romans 7?

    Jer2329's picture

    [Virgil]
    > Was Paul ever "alive" before he wrote Romans 7?

    Yes, and the context of Rom. 7:9 does not allow "alive" to mean, "in possession of eternal life," because the context says throughout that Saul was already indwelt by "Sin" / "Evil" / "No Good Thing" before he "died."

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Ok - Paul was "alive" - we can both agree on that. Can you then tell me concisely:

    1. When Paul was alive? What year of the calendar...maybe when in time?

    2. What did "being alive" do for Paul? What does it mean?

    Jer2329's picture

    [Virgil]
    > 1. When Paul was alive? What year of the
    > calendar ...maybe when in time?

    Since Paul is talking about a cycle of Sin, of Sin re-viving (coming to life again), and of Sin re-producing itself and of Sin becoming excessively sinful, we should not look for a time-span when Saul was "once" alive and a calendar date in which he suddenly "died."

    Without the indwelling Spirit of God, Saul was continually "killed" through the deceit of the Sin that indwelled him. This happened whenever his conscience was confronted with the condemnation of a divine commandment. That is Paul's explanation in verses 15-23.

    [Virgil]
    > 2. What did "being alive" do for Paul? What
    > does it mean?

    Saul's "life" without the indwelling Spirit of God was defined by a lack of sin-consciousness (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; 7:7). That "life" didn't "do" anything for Saul, because it was a transitory and elusive Sin-indwelt life. Saul "died" every time he attempted to obey God's commandments, because every time he tried, the Sin that already indwelled him "came to life again" and produced yet more sin and became "excessively sinful." Thus Paul's Sin-indwelt "life" was a "Body of Death."

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    Virgil's picture

    Dave,

    Thanks for the reply. Just as I expected, You've managed to turn Paul's "I was once alive" into "I was always dead." Paul was NEVER alive in your view...despite the fact he says "I was alive."

    As long as you continue to see Paul as teaching a separation between sin and Law, you will continue to miss this.

    Jer2329's picture

    [Virgil]
    > You've managed to turn Paul's "I was once alive"
    > into "I was always dead." Paul was NEVER alive
    > in your view...despite the fact he says "I
    > was alive."

    Hi Virgil, :)

    I think it would be more accurate to characterize me as saying that I turned Paul's, "I was alive then, but at the coming of the commandment sin revived," into, "I was always being "killed" because Sin was always "producing Death" in me" (Rom. 7:9,11,13).

    [Virgil]
    > As long as you continue to see Paul as teaching
    > a separation between sin and Law, you will
    > continue to miss this.

    The Law was given so that sin would "increase," not so that sin would suddenly come into existence out of nothing (Rom. 3:20, 5:20).

    This is why "Death reigned from Adam to Moses" (Rom. 5:14). Sin was already there before the giving of the Law.

    Dave
    http://www.preteristcosmos.com

    DrDre's picture

    How do you interpret the passage? If I understand it correctly, it is possible to be saved/redeemed and still be alive?

    Dr. Dre

    Virgil's picture

    If sin brings death and Paul said he was alive, then he clearly did not have sin at some time in his life...when he was APART from the Law. This is why children do not have sin...because they are alive. This is not about "eternal life"...i never used that word. It's about sin causing death, and lack of sin causing life. It has nothing to do with physical birth...

    BillyVern's picture

    Virgil do you believe the following texts are essential, or must be considered as part of the context of Romans seven? I do.

    Rom 5:21.. so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

    6:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
    11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

    6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!

    6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    (NIV)

    Rom 8:6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (RSV)

    It is my understanding that these three (4) chapters, along with Gen. 4, and St. John 3 have the same underlying message. They are about how to be in the Kingdom, how to be accepted, about how to walk with God in the cool of the evening.

    Christ was alive, died, and is alive again. So we too were at one time alive, died because of sin and have now been born again from above, etc.

    It is an anology? It seems to me 5, 6 7 and 8 are all the same message, just said in different ways.

    That is what I see. The concern is that we could die again...

    Please correct me if I have missed the point on Romans 7

    Virgil's picture

    Billy,

    I am not sure I see the analogy you are trying to make. Romans 7 is Paul's picture of covenantal death and life...it has nothing to do with physical death or physical life. He is using the example of a marriage to make his point. If a woman is married under the Law and her husband dies, the marriage covenant is automatically void. The point is that in order for the Law to be "voided", the first century Christians had to "die to the Law through Christ."

    BillyVern's picture

    Virgil,

    I think we may still agree.

    You made me use my dictionary.

    "Analogy"

    "Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar"

    I will make tentative statements here.

    There are things that are similar between spiritual death and physical death.

    Baptism is an analogy. It typifies our death burial and resurrection in Christ. (Not a physical situation. We do not die physically when baptized. Adam did not die physically the day he sinned.)

    It appears to me Paul speaks repeatedly of physical death as a type of spiritual death, and physical life as a type of spiritual life.

    It is my understanding that babies are not born wicked or spiritually dead. They are not under the law.
    Paul was free of sin then sin was recreated, in his life, in the same manner it had been started by Adam .

    (I do not want to post the verses again, so will just comment. I am far from infallible. However, my thoughts have cost me and I still want answers.)

    Everyone dies physically. Paul points to spiritual death and spiritual life by using physical life and physical death as an analogy.

    The spouse dies physically, so her husband is free to remarry.

    We die to sin in a spiritual sense, we have died to the point where the law is no longer applicable, so are free to marry Christ.

    "Repentance.".

    We were following the flesh, now we have turned around and are following Christ by faith. Our physical flesh is not wicked, but it pulls us that direction.

    The reason the law killed people was because they did not adhere to it by faith. I am speaking of the law as God gave it, not as the Jews had perverted it.

    Godly OT saints loved the law, it was a light unto their feet, etc.
    This was not the law that the people could not follow.

    The curse of the law was disobedience or sin. Their sin made the Mountain and the fire a terrible experience.
    Now we have been reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice. Now we rejoice in the thought that the law brought us to Christ. It was our school master.

    It was and still is precious.
    However, it is made out to be near demonic, wicked, the cause of death, by some theology. God's law only kills the wicked.
    There were two sets of precepts, one was God given, the other was man made, and both are referred to as the law. There are still two sets tied to salvation by many people.

    Through having God's law written in the fleshly tablets of our heart via the new birth the OT law no longer stresses us, for Christ's law has superseded it and, His presence has ensured our compliance to His will.

    The New Birth is an elevation of ones character, a looking up out of the pit of selfishness toward the things of God. (Among other things.) It is a choice. We breathe by the grace of God and He meets us at the point of our faith and repentance.

    Now the extreme view of predestination will undermine the simplicity of the Gospel. The extreme approach to the Sovereignty of God, does the same thing. Sovereigns delegate.

    The New Birth adds responsibility, it does not white wash, nor does it cover, but it cleans us up from the inside out.

    Please excuse my lengthy replies.

    Vern

    davecollins's picture

    Dear Dave, where do I send my tuition check? Your insights are incredible. Thank You brother for speaking clearly the truths of Scripture!

    DrDre's picture

    Virgil,
    Thanks for part II. I guess I can boil my inquiries to a few questions. Do you think that the individual before accepting Christ is a lost sinner that is depraved in some way, whether inherently or via accumulated sin after a sinless birth? Will all the world be redeemed in Christ? Can you cite the passages that you reference that are in Daniel that show all will be reconciled? I must say the best reference for this argument that helped me tremendously greater than Calvin's Institutes diatribes was Luther's The Bondage of the Will. Which I have not seen referenced, if you get a chance peek at it. Thanks alot...

    Dr. Dre

    Virgil's picture

    There is no scriptural evidence that I can find for the "sin nature" of the world...which in some people's thinking appears to be some metaphysical substance that permeates all creation and causes sin to exist in the world.

    If depravity means "sin nature", then no, I dot believe an individual is depraved before or after "being redeemed" by Christ. All humanity has already been redeemed and reconciled to God. And as long as we continue to view salvation as "not going to hell", we will continue to miss the point of what happened in AD 70.

    You can read Daniel 2 in regards to the mighty stone which grew into a mountain and filled the whole earth.

    DrDre's picture

    No, I am not thinking any type of metaphysical substance. I guess I have your understanding of the whole issue. There are no lost people? Since you said that all of humanity has been redeemed. I agree salvation is more than not going to hell, it is being justified in your standing w/God being moved from an enemy to being adopted as a son into His family.

    Dr. Dre

    Virgil's picture

    There are no lost people?

    I didn't say that - but I do see a difference between reconciliation and salvation. I am not a universalist and I don't believe everyone is "saved." However, if annihilationism has any merits, then I guess everyone is saved...everyone meaning 'whoever is left.'

    These are issues which I am still struggling with myself, which goes to say that Preterism is just the beginning of the journey, not the solution to everything.

    davo's picture

    Virgil: However, if annihilationism has any merits, then I guess everyone is saved...everyone meaning 'whoever is left.'

    Virgil, which hurdle or hoop if not jumped over or through becomes the qualifier for annihilation?

    Virgil: These are issues which I am still struggling with myself, which goes to say that Preterism is just the beginning of the journey, not the solution to everything.

    Yes! this is what I'm discovering as well :)

    davo – pantelism.com –

    Virgil's picture

    Virgil, which hurdle or hoop if not jumped over or through becomes the qualifier for annihilation?

    Two things:

    1. Daniel's description of the resurrection and judgment: some will be resurrected into instance A some will be resurrected into instance B "forever and ever."

    2. The tossing of the "bad guys" into the lake of fire where they will supposedly suffer "forever and ever." There is an apparent contradiction in this instance. Both Death and Hades are also thrown into the lake of fire, and we know that they technically no longer exist. I guess the dilemma is: why are Hades and Death annihilated by the lake of fire, and why are the people not?

    davo's picture

    Virgil: 1. Daniel's description of the resurrection and judgment: some will be resurrected into instance A some will be resurrected into instance B "forever and ever."

    Jesus gives us the clearest understanding on this. As John references in Jn 5:29. "Eternal" is to be understood in terms of totality or entirety, not the longevity of endlessness. Such an example is found in Jude 1:7 where Sodom and Gomorrah are described as languishing in flames of "eternal fire" – though in that day, long since extinguished and not literally still burning; it speaking rather of the totality of Divine judgment that had a literal fulfillment for a specific or predetermined period of time.

    The context of this passage shows that this resurrection was a spiritual-moral-covenantal awakening and was occurring as a result of the concurrent proclamation and acceptance of the Gospel – this the language makes abundantly clear "he who hears My word and believes…" Those who came into this awareness of the truth [verse 25 first-fruits resurrection], but subsequently disregarded the heavenly message and calling [Heb 2:3; 6:4-8; 10:26-17, 29; Jn 8:30-33, 37, 44; 2Pet 1:10] indeed experienced resurrection from "the death" – out of trespasses and sins, only to experience the resurrection of condemnation i.e., the actual loss of life in the second death, lake of Fire – Israel's AD70 conflagration. Those who had acquiesced again [Gal 2:18] to that which they had initially abandoned in Christ – the law for righteousness, literally paid with their lives. Entrusting their lives yet again to that old covenant world and identity of Jerusalem, Temple and Law – that to which they had returned, having "fallen from grace" [Gal 3:1-3; 5:4] i.e., gone back to law observance for righteousness; yet there was "no condemnation" for those who remained "in Christ Jesus" [Rom 8:1].
    Yet ultimately even through this did His grace reach:

    1Cor 3:15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved [delivered] , yet so as through [the AD70] fire.

    The resurrection of AD70 did have temporal and corporeal outcomes [loss of physical life], but the main thrust of the Age Changing Resurrection was Israel's restoration-resurrection, which consequently brought Life to the world [Rom 11:15]. Thus resurrection was about stance, not substance i.e., man's position with God in life, not his post death disposition or composition.

    Virgil: I guess the dilemma is: why are Hades and Death annihilated by the lake of fire, and why are the people not?

    I would say that was because the "bad guys" [those of the old covenant realm] came through the Refiner's fire – the covenantal aspect of the LoF of Jerusalem's temporal fall.

    davo

    BillyVern's picture

    You have done a good job as far as you went. I only wish you would have mentioned some more of those saints who have arrived at some of these same conclusions. Unfortunatly, several of these/their names have become near curse words.
    In any case - "Well said."

    Virgil's picture

    I did mention Pelagius - Full Preterists should pay more attention to him and his absolutely revolutionary ideas! Instead, many preterists use his name as in insult towards others.

    Many of the "heretics" of the Catholic church turned out to have a better grasp on the truth than the pope himself.

    What other names did you have in mind?

    SuperSoulFighter's picture

    I've had my views referred to as "Semi-Pelagian", Virgil (among other things)!

    I find that when people start tossing around epithets and hurling abuse (or what they think of as abuse), a "chord" has been struck in their hearts, and a vulnerability in their belief systems has been exposed. So I try not to take offense as easily any more, and (in the case of Semi-Pelagianism), it turns out they are reasonably accurate - which I find rather complimentary, in fact!

    John

    Recent comments

    Poll

    Should we allow Anonymous users to comment on Planet Preterist articles?
    Yes absolutely
    23%
    No only registered users should comment
    77%
    What are you talking about?
    0%
    Total votes: 43